WBT Presents 'MESHUGGAH-NUNS'- The Ecumenical Nunsense

By: Jan. 23, 2009
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Westchester Broadway Theater is Proud To Present Dan Goggin's "MESHUGGAH-NUNS!" The Ecumenical Nunsense.

February 12 - MARCH 21, 2009
Book, Music, Lyrics & Direction by Dan Goggin

With the ‘Nunsense' shows, the creator, Danny Goggin, has lifted the human spirit as he has made millions laugh. Meshuggah-Nuns, is the fifth variation in the popular "Nunsense" series. For the last 26 years, the Little Sisters of Hoboken have entertained audiences in theatres around the globe, making "Nunsense" an international household name.

Meshuggah-Nuns, has The Sisters aboard the ship Golden Delicious on a "Faiths of All Nations" cruise. Due to rough seas, the actors of the onboard musical, Fiddler On The Roof, succumb to sea sickness. Miraculously, the nuns survive the rolling waters unscathed, after Sister Julia put Dramamine in the brownies! The ship's captain, knowing of the Sisters' show-business savvy, urges them to concoct a variety show with Howard, who plays Tevye, the only actor who still has his sea legs. The four singing nuns now become an ecumenical, co-educational quintet. The show has a variety of music, with songs ranging in style from pop to country to gospel blues. Many of the jokes are delivered in the Laugh- In comedy format. There are sing-alongs, and even a puppet named Sister Mary Annette who performs a saucy Mae West number. It promises to be a laugh-filled funfest, with a mix of musical madcap, sprinkled with saintly sight gags and ubiquitous jokes. From the rousing opening number, "Anchors Aweigh", to the hysterical, "Say it in Yiddish", and "Matzo Man," to the touching, "A Love Like This", the show will lift your spirits. It is a sweet natured celebration of Catholic and Jewish traditions.

Nunsense, the first show in the series of the wacky religious parodies was first produced in Manhattan in1983. The show has become an international phenomenon, receiving four Outer Critics Circle awards including Best Musical. Over the 26 year span, it has seen seven different reincarnations, including Nunsense II, the country style, Nunsense Jamboree; the Christmas show, Nuncrackers, Nunsense A-men, with misters playing the sisters and the Vegas Act, Nunsensations! The Nunsense franchise has become one of the most prolific musical revues in community, college, stock and professional companies across the country and around the world.

Our cast, most of which are returning from the 25th Anniversary National Tour with Sally Struthers, are: Bonnie Lee as the Mother Superior, the former Circus performer from Ireland. Jeanne Tinker will play Sister Mary Amnesia, a nun who was brained by a falling crucifix and has temporary memory loss. Sister Robert Anne, the former Brooklyn delinquent will be played by Deborah Del Mastro. The testy Sister Mary Hubert, a drill sergeant of sorts, will be played by Bambi Jones. The Jewish actor, Howard Liszt, will be played by David Edwards. Rounding out the cast are Ron Rogell as Captain Richard Biggerstaff and Stephanie Wahl as Melody Joy Lapidus.

The Conductor of "Nunsensations" is Leo Carusone, who did all the original orchestrations and arrangements for the show. Musical Staging & Choreography is by Teri Gibson. The set is designed by 3-time Emmy nominee, Barry Axtell, who has done the original sets for all the "Nunsense" shows. The set was adapted for WBT's stage by Steven Loftus, Costume design by Rich Hamson, Lighting design by Rich Latta, and resident lighting designer is Andrew Gmoser, Sound design by Jon Hatton. The Production Stage Manager is Victor Lukas.

Dan Goggin (Writer/Director) has written the scores for the off-Broadway production of Hark! and the Broadway production of Legend. He received the 1986 Outer Critics' Circle Awards given to Nunsense for Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Music. His "nunless" musical Balancing Act has been presented in the U.S., London and Australia. Nunsense and Nunsense II, both starring Rue McClanahan have been recorded for the A&E Television Network. Nunsense Jamboree starred Georgia Engel and has been recorded for television at the Grand Ole Opry with Vicki Lawrence. Nunsense A-Men! opened in New York in 1998 and has since been produced with "Laugh-In's" Arte Johnson and Greg Louganis. Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical toured with Dody Goodman, Jeff Trachta and Dawn Wells. The Nuncrackers TV Special starring Rue McClanahan with guest star John Ritter, received an Emmy nomination for Best Musical Score. Meshuggah-Nuns: The Ecumenical Nunsense premiered in 2002. The all-star tour of Nunsense starring Kaye Ballard, Georgia Engel, Mimi Hines, Darlene Love and Lee Meriwether marked the 20th anniversary of the original show. In 2004 Dan's "serious piece" The Traditional Latin Mass was recorded. Nunsensations! The Nunsense Vegas Revue opened in Minneapolis in 2005. www.nunsense.com.

Deborah Del Mastro (Sister Robert Anne) most recently appeared in the television special of Nunsensations, The Nunsense Vegas Revue. She originated the part of Sister Robert Anne in the World Premiere of the show. She toured with the 20th Anniversary All-Star tour of Nunsense with Kaye Ballard, Georgia Engel, Lee Meriwether, Darlene Love, and Mimi Hines. Deborah also originated the role of Sister Robert Anne in Nunsense 3: The Jamboree; Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical and Meshuggah Nuns: The Ecumenical Nunsense. She toured/filmed Nunsense Jamboree and Nuncrackers and can be heard on four cast recordings. Other credits include: Always, Patsy Cline, and Forbidden Broadway.

David Edwards (Tevye/Howard) Most recently directed The Producers here at WBT. He appeared as both Max Bialystock and Roger DeBris in the First National Tour of The Producers directed by Susan Stroman. His Broadway credits include By Jeeves and The Rothschilds. He was the final "El Gallo" in the original record-breaking run of The Fantasticks and recently starred in the critically acclaimed revival of Room Service at the Soho Playhouse. Other New York acting credits include The Disputation, Dr Sex, The Roar of The Greasepaint..., That's Life, Jolson & Co., What's a Nice Country Like You Doing In A State Like This?, Zion, Company, and Bittersuite. WBT audiences will remember him as Don Quixote in Man Of La Mancha, Albin in La Cage Aux Folles, Scrooge in two different versions of A Christmas Carol, and most recently, in Phantom.

Bambi Jones (Sister Mary Hubert) feels blessed to be part of Dan Goggin's Nunsense family since 2000. Outside of the convent, Bambi appeared as Muzzy Van Hossmere in Thoroughly Modern Millie, the London West End premiere of Show Boat, the Off-Broadway production of Menopause The Musical where she played Power Woman, as well as performances throughout the U.S. in And The World Goes ‘Round, Beehive, Little Shop of Horrors, Ain't Misbehavin', and the world premiere of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?-The Musical.

Bonnie Lee (Reverend Mother) As the daughter of a burlesque comedienne and a musician, and the granddaughter of two vaudevillians, she is proud to carry on the family torch in the "thee-ah-tah." She is glad to be back in the habit having appeared in Nunsense, Nunsense II and Meshuggah-Nuns!. She has also appeared in many plays not requiring a habit.

Jeanne Tinker (Sister Mary Paul aka Amnesia) grew up in Newbury, NH before going to College at Emerson in Boston, moving to San Francisco for several years, and finally settling on NYC as a good place to land. She has been seen all over the country as Sister Amnesia. Other shows include; Sheer Madness (SF), Funny Girl (CA), Once Upon a Mattress (CA), Kiss Me Quick Before The Lava Reaches the Village (NYC), My Sister Eileen (CA), Area 51 the Musical (NYC) and many others!